Errols Weekly Music Update.

October 9, 2009

Weekly Update – Rocktober 9, 2009

Bob Dylan at the United Palace on Tues. – Thurs. Nov. 17-19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $59, $89 and $129.

John Fogerty at the Beacon Theater on Tues. Nov. 24. Tickets on sale next Fri. Nov. 16 at 11:00 a.m. $39.50 – $99.50.

Papa Roach and Jet at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Nov. 12. Pre-sale tickets for American Express on sale until noon today. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Aventura at the Madison Square Garden on Wed. Jan. 20, 2010. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $64, $84, $114.50 and $129.50.

Anvil at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Fri. Jan. 15. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). $20 ($25 day of show).

Il Divo at Beacon Theater on Tues. – Thurs. Dec. 15 – 17. Tickets on sale this coming Mon. Rocktober 12 at 10:00 a.m. $45 – $105. Also appearing at the Mark. G. Etess Arena in Atlantic City on Sat. Dec. 12. Tickets for this show go on sale Sat. Rocktober 24 at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Rain (A Tribute Band to The Beatles) at the Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford CT on Sat. & Sun. Jan. 30 & 31, 2010. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders only on now. General public tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $25.50, $45.50, $65.50 and $75.50.

Devendra Banhart at Town Hall on Sun. Nov. 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26, $30.

Sonic Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) on Tues. & Wed. Nov. 24 & 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Raphael Saadiq at the Terminal 5 on Fri. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30 ($35 day of show).

Ray Davies at the Wellmont Theater on Tues. Nov. 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35, $55 and $75.

Other items:

Have you seen the latest video by Shinedown yet? (or should I say “The Great Shinedown”). The phenomenal track is “If You Only Knew” and I told you about this song last summer and I still believe that this will do better than “Second Chance.” Check out this awesome song and the video to go along with it at http://www.vh1.com/video/play.jhtml?id=1589364&vid=441724

And if you stay on the same page (vh1 video) you will see the best video out there today and that belongs to Rob Thomas and his song “Someday.” I told you this guy was good and his message is always about bringing people together living in peace and happiness. If this video doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then you need to check for a pulse. http://www.vh1.com/video/play.jhtml?id=1589364&vid=440168

I’m assuming the estate of John Denver was behind the release of a double live CD-“Live in the U.S.S.R.-Unplugged” and features 27 songs of his greatest hits. If you are a fan (I am) then you will love this.

Are the days of Aerosmith over again? Joe Perry has released a solo album-“Have Guitar Will Travel”- and in a recent interview has stated that he and Steven Tyler have not collaborated on a song together in over ten years. Perry, frustrated with the state of Aerosmith, has not talked to his band mates since Tyler fell off a stage two months ago. The band is being forced to perform a show in Hawaii (they cancelled a show there a few years ago and they were sued to come back and play there) later this month, so we’ll see what happens. Perry though, seems intent on moving forward with or without Aerosmith, his wife found a singer for his solo album via a You-Tube video and Slash was recently spotted at one of his solo shows and the rumors are flying they will do something together.

This coming Tuesday, Rocktober 13, Hall & Oates will release a box set-“Do What You Want, Be What You Are”- that will contain four CD’s containing 74 songs of which 16 of them were not previously released.You know there will be some real good stuff in this set.

Album Review: “Sonic Boom” by KISS released on Rocktober 6, 2009.

Yes for the second time in the past year I had to buy a rock and roll album from Walmart (that is definitely NOT rock and roll but a sign of the times; yes it is all about the “Benjamins” and since Walmart is right up there at the top for reaching a broad audience, I can see why bands are doing this). But the big difference this time around was the lack of display of the KISS brand name. Last year when I went for the AC/DC album- “Black Ice”- there was a whole section of the store that was totally dedicated to “everything AC/DC.” Posters, billboards, gigantic bold letters displaying AC/DC, so you know I was expecting basically fireworks, workers dressed up like KISS, big bold display’s of Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric (seems weird not to write Ace and Peter) when I walked into Walmart on Tuesday morning (No I was not there when the store opened… I waited a half hour, then went). Yet, there was nothing at the Walmart in Danbury CT. I mean NOTHING, no face makeup on the workers… no visible signs that KISS was in the house… so I had to walk around the store twice and had to ask for help to find “Sonic Boom.” When I asked a worker he said “Who is Kiss?” What??!!! Dude- you are totally killing my buzz…Another “suit” quickly walked over and said “Yes, where is the Kiss display?” OK I’m past the display-just get me the album. They walkie-talkie some other dude and he walks me over to a “wire-metal display” (think your local supermarket where they sell the potato chips) and there it is. (I would have NEVER found it!!) No fireworks, no other person in the store looking for this album but me. Are you kidding me? Then I look at the cover and I’m immediately disappointed because there are too many colors and the KISS logo is highlighted in yellow. (Kind of reminds me of the “Looney Tunes” Logo). But the cool thing is that for $12 I have new work by the boys, a re-recording of some of their classics on another CD and some live performances of their tour on DVD. You can’t beat that, right? Now the real test is when I get back in my car. I slowly peel the plastic off the cover and take the CD out and I see Eric Singer’s face (well Peter’s Cat face but Eric behind the make-up), I slip the CD in- turn the car off but leave the radio on and wait to see if I am going to like the first few notes. BOOM the first song-“Modern Day Delilah” hits you right in the jaw and all the bad vibes that I had trying to buy the album disappears ( I slide down the windows just in case to let some fresh air in the car). I sit there mesmerized as I am curious to see if they can keep it going. I can’t go anywhere (my wife doesn’t even know I left the house to buy the CD) as I am pretty excited about what I am hearing. (and I am not saying this just because I am a Kiss fan). I listen to more than half the CD in the parking lot and decide to start up the car to rush home to do this write-up. KISS Army rejoice!!! If you want the sounds of “Rock and Roll Over” or “Love Gun” (which I love both of those albums) then run, don’t walk, to your nearest Walmart (hopefully those will have the displays) and buy this bad boy. And for the causal fan or even if you say you’re not a fan (ha, ha, ha.. yeah right).. this album is for you. I am totally stunned on how good this album is, it flows nicely and there are no fillers in this 43 minute outstanding piece of work. I don’t know if a band can “reinvent” itself after 35 years but this album is like using a defibrillator to jump start a person back to life and get the blood flowing again. As the album progressed, my juices were revved up and has made the anticipation of seeing them tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden that much greater.

As mentioned the album kicks off with “Modern Day Delilah” and it will definitely conjure up the memories of early Kiss but with a contemporary fell to it. Paul takes the lead vocals and yes he will hit the high notes, especially before the blistering guitar solo by Mr. Thayer as he screeches “a hunter’s prey.” The one thing that I took notice to was the “tightness” of this “new” band-meaning with Tommy and Eric behind the controls of the crucial parts like drums and lead guitar. I think these guys have given new blood to both Paul and Gene, as I think this is the way they (Gene and Paul) intended the band to be in the first place with every one getting a chance to take lead vocals while contributing to the other tracks as well. Paul always talks about the “Kiss family” and it appears that all the drama is now free and clear of this band. They can now get back to what they like best-creating good rock and roll. Gene takes the lead vocals for “Russian Roulette” and again it seems like I have heard this Kiss song before, but I can’t put my finger on which one. The groove is infectious and it changes courses throughout as it gets slower and then faster. Tommy’s solo is flat out electrifying and it is actually weird now how Gene is really a good bass player and singer after watching him for the past few years on his “Family Jewels” show. (you forget that he is the flame, blood spitting devil with the platform boots-he’s back!!). The third track-“Never Enough”- is one of my favorite tracks on the album and yes I know it sounds a little “poppish” but I love it. (To me, it will remind you of Poison’s “Nothing But a Good Time” but according to my good friend Ed, it is a dead ringer for “Flying High Again” by Ozzy). This is a song to have blasting out of you car as you ride down Route 66 or whatever road takes you to the local supermarket, to show the younger generation that yes the old guys from Kiss still know how to rock. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)” is my favorite track on the album because it is something that could have been on the first Kiss album; this is rock and roll back to the basics. (And of course there are juvenile lyrics to go along with it-I told you Gene was back-just don’t tell Shannon about the lyrics to this one). Have I mentioned how friggin’ good Tommy Thayer is on guitar? So far that’s four –for four on the solid solos during the middle of each song. Track # 5- “Stand”- will be headed for the radio pretty soon. The arrangement of the song is top notch as both Paul and Gene share the lead vocals while switching verses, there is the usual flair from Paul as the chorus leans towards the arm waving crowd in the front rows of American Idol (especially when Paul screams out “Just look over your shoulder” and “Can you feel it”) but it still rocks out.

“Hot and Cold” highlights Eric’s nice drum playing as Gene again takes the lead vocals and it really seems like Gene is in his twenties again as the enthusiasm protruding through your speakers will make you stand up and pay attention. This is the new electrified Kiss screaming out to your ears and like Gene says in the song “If it’s too loud.. You’re too old!!!” Play it LOUD!!! Track # 7-“All for the Glory”- will have you trying to clear your ears as you will think that it is Peter Criss behind the mike but it is Eric Singer taking the lead vocals. (Hey if he looks like Peter, he might as well sound like him). And this is no sappy song done by the drummer, this song rocks out as well. Wait until you hear Tommy’s solo-I’m not going to say anymore-you have to hear it for yourself. I can definitely see this as a fan favorite at their live shows. Hey based on this album, they’ll need do a 40th KISS tour because they should be busy making more albums like this in the coming years. “Danger Us” is my second favorite track on the disc, it starts off slowly but then quickly kicks into a head-banging motion as Thayer’s guitar licks will have you bouncing up and down. The highlight of this song is the background harmonized vocals of all the members of the band as well as Thayer’s blistering guitar work. I’m telling you- you are not going to believe how freakin’ good this song (as well as the album) is. I’m hoping they do a lot of the songs from this album at the show tomorrow night. (now how many people are hoping that comes true?). “I’m An Animal” is a slow trodden guitar laced song that make you feel like you are in the middle of a “twister” as all the different instruments are flying all round your ears while you constantly wave your head around in a circular motion. Gene’s vocals are incredible on this track. “When Lightning Strikes” has the “cowbell” effect and the slick driving guitar notes will get you moving. Tommy sings the lead but again you will be trying to clean your ears as you will swear it is Gene. This is Tommy’s baby as he applies a nice guitar solo to go along with the cool voice. “When lightning strikes, I howl in the rain and thunder..” (Ok so maybe you might feel the twister on this one). The album ends with “Say Yeah” and yes the lyrics deal with… well you know what. But that is what the “Starman” for the band Kiss is suppose to do, right? That’s rock and roll, right? Towards the end of the song you actually hear an acoustic guitar and it makes you realize that the whole album (except that part obviously) packs a solid punch as far as the electric guitar sound goes.

I know this has been said many times before… but KISS is BACK!! “Sonic Boom” is as enjoyable to listen to as it seems like the boys had in recording this album. They seem like a “tight knit” team again and the result is a blazing, hard hitting rock and roll album that is sure to satisfy the Kiss Army. Not only did they record new songs but they went and re-recorded 15 of Kiss classics, it seems effortless- can you imagine before Tommy and Eric how long it would have taken them to record 26 songs for a release? Even the “old” Kiss songs sound revitalized. KISS IS BACK and I for one am so glad that I will be seeing them tomorrow night. “Sonic Boom” deserves a place in your musical library, don’t wait to see what others might say-I’m telling you- THIS IS A MUST BUY!!!! \m/ \m/

“TOP TEN” :

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine e-mailed me back and gave me a list of performers that he wanted to see my favorite top ten songs by those artists, so this week I am going to go with his very good suggestion of Tom Petty. (Thanks Charlie). Now it’s perfect because since this is Rocktober, who better than Tom Petty? He’s been making music since the 1970’s and continues to be true to himself, the music just bleeds out of him. He’s not looking for popular, just plain good music. So here are my top ten songs from Mr. Petty (it can include his solo stuff, Wilbury’s as well as the Torpedo’s):

10.     I Need To Know– How friggin’ great is this song? This is from his second album “You’re Gonna Get It” in 1978 It’s a short, sweet and rocking song that will blow the doors off the hinges when it comes to the blazing guitar solo in the middle. Perfect exercise song for Spin and/or boot camp classes.

9.     Ankle Deep– Beautiful track from his 2006 solo album “Highway Companion.” This is pure Tom Petty, he pours his heart and soul into this song. This is a perfect song for just hanging out with friends. If you play acoustic guitar and take requests (like a few friends I know), please take my suggestion and learn how to play and sing this song.

8.     Inside Out One of my top five songs by the Traveling Wilbury’s and this is off of the “Volume 3” album. I know that Dylan and Harrison share the vocal leads but it’s Petty’s distinctive voice that takes it home as he sings “When your outside’s in…” For me, this is a Petty song with others helping him, it’s an addictive chorus.

7.     Anything That’s Rock and Roll – Classic tune from his very first album, you can hear the “rawness” of Petty’s voice and Petty’s band and how can you beat the title? This is like the syrup that you would pour on your pancakes, pure sweetness. (sorry Walter Payton to use your title but it fits this tune).

6.     Don’t Do Me Like That –Wow this song really takes me back. It came out in 1979-one of my favorite years- back to the days in Pershing Junior high (back then it was 7-9 grades) and I can clearly remember seeing the older dudes in the neighborhood hanging out “in the well” with their boom boxes as this song would eventually be played on WNEW FM radio. Playing handball, softball , stick-ball (double wall) and even basketball. Aahh those were the days-just grab my glove and play centerfield on the concrete baseball diamond. “I was talking with a friend of mine…”

5.     The Same Old You-This is what rock and roll was intended to be. If you still have the 33 LP (or album), slide the needle over to this tune with the “crackles and all” and tell me this is not a GREAT Petty song??!!! The guitar solo is freakin’ phenomenal. I love the part where Petty sings “Live life like a young Polly-Atich-Ian (politician)” as he stretches out the word “politician.”

4.     Free Fallin’-On the night before I was married, my best man-John- slept over my parent’s house and needless to say we didn’t get any sleep (as we knew we wouldn’t) and John kept asking me to play this song over and over. I can clearly remember my mom, dad, my younger brother, John and I sitting around the table while John tried to match Petty’s fervor as he belted out “Now I’m FRRREEEEEEEEEE… FREE FALLIN’… Yeah I’m FRRRREEEEEEE…” Does it get any better? I think not.

3.     You Don’t Know How It Feels – Now you know that I have never taken a drug in my life and never even smoked a cigarette or cigar-so I was not a big fan a the main lyric in this song –“Let’s roll another joint”- but like I have always said “It’s about the music” and the groove in this song is something that I could literally listen to all day long. This song takes me away and I don’t need the “joint” to get me there.

2.     Mary Jane’s Last Dance-Love the opening guitar licks and obviously the entire track. There is no other way to listen to this song but very LOUDLY. (Again my wife and kids are yelling for me to turn it down). I think this is Petty’s vocal performance on any song that he has done. I love the whole verse as I try to emulate his “twang” when he sings “I don’t know.. you never slow down.. tired of this town… can’t stay long.” I think that is my favorite lines in any song in the history of music. Mr. Petty I bow to your greatness on this song.

1.     Wreck Me – Man does this song move or what? I can’t get enough of this tune. I’m “air-guitaring” and singing karaoke as I try to match the excitement of this song. This is the perfect song for the month of Rocktober and if it doesn’t get you out of your seat, then there is no blood flowing through your veins. I am dancing around wildly, jumping all around and trying anything else to move to this fantastic track. This is another perfect exercise song.

ROCKTOBER JUKE BOX

Since ROCKTOBER is my favorite month of the year I decided to try and come up with something different especially for this month only. I’m thinking a “Rock and Roll Juke Box” with some of the best rock songs for your next party or I-Pod playlist. This week’s list is what I would call the “Lady Rockers”; a list of tracks from some of “Rock’s” female performers. So here goes in no particular order:

1.     “Magic Man”- Heart-Where would rock and roll be without Heart? These ladies took aim at the classic “men” bands in the 1970’s and stood toe-to-toe, looked ‘em in the eye and said “Hello? I ain’t going anywhere!!” We all need to bow to Ann and Nancy as “we are not worthy.”

2.     “Mystery Achievement” – The Pretenders – my all time favorite song from Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. She made her statement in rock music and is still going strong.

3.     “Edge of Seventeen”- Stevie Nicks– Talk about someone who has stuck to her guns. Again I ask, where would rock and roll be without Stevie Nicks? She has had a magnificent career that is still burning strong. Love this track.

4.     “All Fired Up” – Pat Benatar- Crank this “Bad boy” Uhh I mean “Bad Girl” UP!!! This song gets me psyched like none other. Pat Benatar has always rocked out with the best of ‘em, she takes no prisoners on this track. \m/ \m/

5.     “It’s on The Rocks”- The Donnas- These women can flat out knock you out with their head banging rock and roll. I love this friggin’ band as well as this track. \m/ \m/

6.     “Seether” – Veruca Salt– This band has been around since 1993 and Louise Post is one of the most unsung women of rock & roll. This song will get the party moving.

7.     “Bring Me Some Water” – Melissa Etheridge – Talked about her a few weeks ago, Melissa is one of the best female performers of all time. This song rocks!!!

8.     “Move Over” – Janis Joplin– This woman had rock, soul and blues in her blood stream. When you listen to her songs, you get goose bumps. A star was taken from us long before she should have been.

9.     “I Believe I’m In Love With You” – Bonnie Raitt –What else can you say about Bonnie Raitt that hasn’t been said already? She is fantastic, phenomenal and a pioneer of rock and roll. Put this song on and try not to dance, it’s impossible.

10.     “Soldier Boy” – The Shirelles- Part of the 1960’s invasion of the “girl groups” and this group was at the forefront of rock and roll.

11.     “He’s So Fine” – The Chiffons –Ditto for this band as well. “They” do not make music like this anymore. This is classic and ultimate rock and roll-don’t even try to say it’s not.

12.     “Be My Baby” – The Ronettes- This could be one of the best songs ever recorded by a “girl band.” Definitely puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.

13.     “(Love is Like A) Heatwave” – Martha & The Vandellas– Someone was upset that this song did not make my top 20 summer songs so here it is now on the list of women in rock and roll. Again this is another elite girl band.

14.     “Where Did Our Love Go” – The Supremes –So many songs to choose from by this legendary girl group from the 1960’s. So hard to pick but I love this song and brings back memories of my childhood as my parents always had the doo wop and 1950’s and 1960’s bands playing all the time.

15.     “Goodbye to You” – Scandal- One of my favorite songs from Patty Smyth. This could be the song of the 1980’s. When’s the last time you have heard this track? Pure fun.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.      Humble Pie

2.     Fred(“Rerun”) Berry (I know-“Huggy Bear” – Mr. Antonio Vargas was in it as well).

3.     Soul Train

4.     The Band

This week’s trivia (Kiss and Tom Petty)

1.     In what animated show did Tom Petty lend his voice for a recurring character?

2.     What is Gene Simmons real name?

3.     Gene Simmons appears in another band’s video in 2007. Name the band and video?”

4.     What was the name of the first band that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were in?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Feels Like The First Time”- Foreigner

2.     “Jesus Take The Wheel”-Carrie Underwood

3.     If I Can’t Have YouYvonne Elliman

4.     “It Don’t Matter To Me”- Bread

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “When the works all done and the sun settlin low.. I pull out my fiddle and rosin up the bow.. ”

2.     “The beat was going strong.. playing my favorite song”

3.     “I was trying to catch your eyes.. thought that you were trying to hide…”

4.     “You know we’ve got to find a way.. to bring some lovin’ here today..”

Back on this day in 1973, Elvis divorce from Priscilla became final.

On this day back in 1966, John Lennon first met Yoko Ono at a London Art Gallery Exhibition.

Back on this day in 1974, Rush made its American television debut on the Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. They didn’t appear on American TV again until 2008 when they appeared on the Colbert Report.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late great John Lennon (who would’ve been 69- even though it’s been 29 years it still seems like it was yesterday when he was taken from us- in some ways it seems as if time has stood still from that tragic moment) and also his son Sean who was born in 1975, as well as the late John Entwistle (The Who- I shouldn’t have to tell you) and Jackson Browne.

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July 31, 2009

Weekly Update – 07/31/2009

Rob Thomas  has added a third show at The Beacon Theater for Sat. Nov. 14. Tickets for this show go on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45.50 – $105.50

Kelly Clarkson with The Veronicas and Parachute at Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Rocktober 6. Tickets on sale next Fri. Aug. 7 at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $75.

A.F.I. at the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville NJ on Sat. Rocktober 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $28.

Robert Earl Keen at the Town Hall on Thurs. Rocktober 29 and Wellmont Theater (Montclair NJ) on Sat. Rocktober 31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

The Decemberists  at the Wellmont Theater on Mon. Sept. 21. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35. Guests include Laura Veirs and The Hall of Flames.

Monsters of Folk featuring Mike Mogis, Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Yim Yames at United Palace and the Beacon Theater on Fri. Nov. 6 and Sun Nov. 8. Tickets for both shows on sale today at noon. $40.50 (United Palace only) and $50.50.

Of Montreal at Terminal 5 on Fri. Sept. 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).

Tesla at the Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. Nov. 5. Tickets on sale now. $39.50

Colbie Caillat at Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Rocktober 16. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $28.50 ($30.50 day of show).

Push Play at New York Fillmore on Sat. Sept. 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $17.50 ($20 day of show).

Regina Spektor at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. Rocktober 14. Tickets on sale Mon. Aug. 10 at 10:00 a.m. (more ticket info to follow).

Other items:

Ace Frehley has released his first single from his upcoming new album-“Anamoly”- which is scheduled for a Sept. 15 distribution through his own “Bronx Born Records” (he’s a part of the Bronx “Hall of Fame”) and the song is called “Outer Space.” The song can be listened to at this site http://www.idesignprod.com/AF/ I like it, sounds pretty good. It rocks!!

Zakk Wylde has asked that Ozzy “Man Up” and call him to tell him what the deal is. On a phone call with a radio station dude in Eugene, Oregon this past Wednesday, Zakk rambled on about Ozzy’s recent comments that stated he was auditioning for a new guitarist. That was news to Zakk as he has not heard a thing from the Oz man. Osbourne feels that his band is starting to sound more and more like “Black Label Society”-which is Zakk’s band. Ozzy did not deny the rumor that Rob Zombie’s guitarist-John 5- will be auditioning. It appears their partnership has ended, Zakk has been with Ozzy since he was 19.

The editor of Guitar Player has listened to five of the new songs on the upcoming Rocktober 6th release of the new Kiss album and says that “Stanley sings his ass off” while “Simmons finally plays all bass parts and has a driving sound.” As previously mentioned, Tommy Thayer has written and has lead vocals on one song while Eric Singer has lead vocals on another song. Rumor has it Gene has reached an agreement with Walmart to distribute the new album. Supposedly an entire section will be utilized to see Kiss albums and it will be labeled “Kiss Korner.” Looking forward to Rocktober 6. \m/ \m/

The Black Eyed Peas have set the record for “Billboard’s Hot 100” by having two consecutive number one songs for 17 weeks straight-the previous record was 16 by Boyz II Men. “I Gota Feeling” has been number one for five straight weeks after “Boom Boom Pow” spent 12 weeks there.

Anita Baker is supposedly collaborating with Snoop Dogg on a song for some new material to be released in 2010. She and Snoop are putting their spin on the Curtis Mayfield song-“Give Me Your Love (Love Song)” from the “Superfly” soundtrack. “Who knew that Snoop is madly in love with his wife” Ms. Baker was quoted as saying. It’s an intriguing duo and I am looking forward to it.

It’s been a while since I have written about Shinedown but I’m back. As you all should know by now “Second Chance” has hit the number one spot on the charts. (Actually it was the last number one song that Casey Kasem announced as he retired a few weeks back). They will be embarking on a new headliner tour-so far no tri-state area dates. The “Sound of Madness” was released as a single a few months back and now prepare yourself for “If You Only Knew” to be released as a single in a few weeks. Folks, before long every one will be singing “It’s 4:03 and I can’t sleep- without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea” –mark my words. This song will do better than “Second Chance” which is already a homerun.

After our game last weekend, a debate between who is (was) the better singer and the two candidates were Freddie Mercury (Queen) and Brad Delp (Boston). Now if I had to choose-this is so tough- but I’d have to say Freddie had more range. But this in no way means that I don’t love Delp’s voice-which I think is a great rock and roll voice. Mercury had a lot more material as well, Delp probably wanted more material to be released but worked with Tom Scholz, the notorious studio perfectionist. Either way, the rock and roll world lost two of the greatest singers in recent history way too early. 

My favorite “new” song of the week is actually an old Frank Sinatra song –“The Way You Look Tonight” performed by Maroon 5. Not for nothing but this genre suits Adam Levine like a glove, he’s perfect. (But he knows it).

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Get Ready” by The Temptations. When you really sit and think about it, this generation of Motown music may be the best recorded music ever and has never been replicated.

Album Review: “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC released on July 27, 1979.

In honor of AC/DC playing tonight at Giants Stadium, I decided to make this an AC/DC weekend and review one of their best albums- “Highway to Hell.”Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a classic album and if you are a fan, there is no excuse for you not to have this in your library. This was their sixth album and last one with Bon Scott as lead singer. This was also the first album not produced by Harry Vonda and George Young. (older brother of Angus and Malcolm).Eddie Kramer was set to produce it, but was fired before a single track was made. This set up the production to be performed by none other than Robert “Mutt” Lange, who went on to produce “Back in Black” and “For Those About to Rock.”

The album starts off with the title track and just like that you are out of your seat-head-banging, air-guitaring, dancing and singing all over the place. I had the DJ play this song at my wedding (yes I had to bring my albums as they did not have it). I can remember my friend, Robert, air-guitaring with me following along behind him as the people at my wedding could not believe that I had AC/DC being played at the reception, especially “Highway to Hell.” Track # 2 kicks it into high gear with the blazing “Girls Got Rhythm.” This song reminds me of this dude back in Brooklyn, Richie, (on 54th street) who was a short guy with long blond hair-sort of motorcycle dude and he loved this album and song. I can picture him sitting on his stoop blasting this song. Angus has a great solo and Bon’s vocals are so “rock and roll.” The next song is the very cool “Walk All Over You”-it starts off slow but you know what’s coming right? That’s right-straight out speed guitar riffs with a slamming drum beat that will have you jumping around in circles in no time. I think this is the perfect “bar band” song and if you have a band that like to play rock and roll-look no further than this song. I love the background vocals “Walk all over you” as it slows down again, then BOOM-blast off again. I can picture the necks of the AC/DC die hards moving a “break-neck” speed as everyone air-guitars Angus’ solo. Whew, I’m sweating already and it’s only the third track. Then it’s on to my personal favorite track on the entire album-“Touch Too Much.” A few months ago I put this CD in my car rotation and when this song came on; I had forgotten how much I loved it. The guitar sound is so different from any song on the album. “Too much for my body, too much for my brain…” Take your headphones and squeeze your hands into your ears as hard as you can and listen to this perfection. The last track on side one is the “funk-i-fied” break-neck groove of “Beating Around the Bush.” Folks it doesn’t get much better than this!!! The sweat is pouring down my face as I dance around the room trying to match the enthusiasm of Angus on guitar. Bon Scott is so freaking good on vocals, he really was the perfect singer for rock and roll.

Side two kicks into gear with the driving “Shot Down in Flames.” Phil Rudd, Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams keep feeding the coal that runs the train in this song. The focus is usually Angus and Bon (and now Brian) but those guys are the engine that runs AC/DC. Flat out phenomenal song. The bass line in the next song-“Get it Hot” will have you bouncing your head up and down. I could picture the Rolling Stones actually doing this song as the guitar riff sounds like something Keith Richards would crank out. Very simple beat but you won’t be able to sit still. Track # 3-the electrifying “If You Want Blood (You Got It).” If I had to pick a song from the Scott era to identify what AC/DC was all about- I think I would have to go with this one. This is a perfect “work-out” song for either boot camp class or Spin class. You will be rocking very fast for over four minutes. “I want you to bleed for me.. If you want blood, you got it!!” “Love Hungry Man” takes it down a bit and if you listen closely you’ll hear that this song is very different from any other on the album. I t is very melodic-I don’t mean that as a knock-so hopefully you get what I’m saying. If you are in your car with this song on, just roll down the windows (or pull down the roof), let the air blow your hair and blast this tune as loud as you can. People will be giving you the \m/ \m/ signs. The last track on the album-“Night Prowler” is a bluesy rocking song that always reminds me of being near an old cemetery late at night and you keep thinking that you are hearing noises as you try to get out of there as fast as you can…but that prowler still seems close by. Angus’s work on the guitar is so spot on, you kind of drift away as you sway from side to side in a slow groove as Bon’s vocals screech with the passion of a pure rock and roll singer, the song ends with “Shazz-bot” which is what Mork from the “Mork and Mindy” show would say all the time. And just like that- the fastest 41 minutes have gone by in a blink of an eye. I am saturated right now and need a shower.

“Highway to Hell” has sold over 7 million albums since its release in 1979 and was listed as the #199 album out of 500 greatest albums according to Rolling Stone Magazine in 2003. You know how I feel about this band and of course this album, everyone needs a little AC/DC in their diet every once in a while. (For me, I need a whole lot more but that’s me-if you need to ease your way into it-fine). “Highway to Hell” is a classic- I would not steer you wrong. After this one, work you’re way back into other great ones such as “Let There Be Rock” and “Powerage.”

This past week I have had a heavy dosage of Billy Squier, he was a favorite of mine way back in the 1980’s. I saw him open for Queen back in the day and he was fantastic. He was real close to my home this week appearing at the Ridgefield Playhouse but the prices were a bit steep, so I decided to have my own concert in my car and house. Here are my favorite ten songs from Mr. Squier, who I am glad that he is back on the road again and one of these days I will catch him again. Don’t kid yourself, during the early 1980’s Squier was as big as anyone out there.

10.     All Night Long-The beginning of the song is so cool, sounds like a heavy piece of coil being thumped as well as a heavy heart beating. “Don’t You Wanna Live??” You know the guitar riffs are coming and they blast right into your headphones. Billy has the perfect rock and roll voice. Believe me you need to listen to the guitar solo with a great set of headphones, you won’t be disappointed. This song kicks off his 1984 super solid album “Signs Of Life.” Obviously “Don’t Say No” is his best album but this is no slouch either. This could be a great song for your next Spin class.

9.     Learn How to Live– Third track of side one of his 1982 “Emotions in Motion”- another good album but I’d put “Signs of Life” ahead of this one. I love how it goes from an acoustic atmosphere to a rocking song. “Learn to forgive.. learn how to wait.. learn how to live before its too late” – poignant lyrics from Mr. Squier. This guy really can rock.

8.     Eye on You-Love the beginning and the transition into a cool finger snappin’ song. How can you not like the chorus-it is so addictive-“I got my eyes on you.. got my eye on you..” The guy knows how to make some melodies and one can look to this song as near perfection.

7.     My Kinda Lover– One of five songs in my top ten from “Don’t Say No” which is right up their in 1981 as one of the best albums of that year. Billy had this way of making huge accents on his songs (think “The Stroke”) and this song had them all over the place. I can remember being on the beach in Coney Island in 1981 and this song was on multiple radios (yes, not only mine) and it is something I will never forget. If this song doesn’t move you, you need to check yourself at the door.

6.     Rock Me Tonite-I don’t care that MTV over played this video- there was a reason for it- it is so friggin’ good, how could they not play it all the time? “Take me in your arms-roll me through the night. Take me to your heart-Rock Me Tonite.” I defy you to say you don’t like this song, c’mon it’s that good!!! “Rock, Rock, Rock and Roll Me!!!”

5.     I Need You– The next to last track on “Don’t Say No” and there is something about this song that puts me in a different world. I can’t explain it. You know when something is so good that you don’t know how to express how happy it makes you? This is that song for me. I love the bass line and the whole production of the song-this could be the best song he’s ever written. You don’t know how many times I have listened to this song in my lifetime, you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

4.     Two Daze Gone-The last track on side one of “Don’t Say No.” If my mother were here to tell you, she would let you know how loud I played this song from my bedroom. (And she would say “Turn it up and open your door!!”). If you looked up the word “rock and roll,” the dictionary just might refer you to this track. “Gone through the games that you want me to play.. pass the point of caring.” The drumming is phenomenal and the keyboards adds the topping. Listen LOUD!!!

3.     Lonely is the Night– Turn over to side two of “Don’t Say No” and listen to this masterpiece. I actually have to pause the song every ten seconds or so because I get so psyched up that I don’t want to lose that feeling. Do you know what I’m talking about? This song… is the ultimate friggin’ rock song!!! There is no way this can not pump you up. The guitar riff is flat out magical and my walls are shaking right now. My wife is screaming for me to turn it down but I can’t hear her…. I just listened to the vinyl version yesterday.. tears came to my eyes, that’s how good it sounded.

2.     Nobody Knows– The song was written for John Lennon and this definitely ranks up in my top ten slow songs of all time. I get the chills every time I hear it. This is pure perfection folks and if you don’t own this song, you need to run out and buy it right now!!! I get choked up when I hear it now because I think of my mom. Talk about passion? This is by far Billy’s best vocal ever, you can feel his… well “everything” bleeding through the speakers. Priceless…

1.     Don’t Say You Love Me –A freaking classic from his 1989 “Hear & Now” album. This song has it all- grooving beat, twists & turns, powerful guitar sound and perfect chorus with phenomenal background vocals. I jump up and down all the time when I hear this and would have joined the mosh pit at the Ridgefield Playhouse last night if I was there. And you know the only way to listen is?? YES YES YES!!! LOUD!!! LOUD!!! LOUD!!!

I’m telling you right now folks, Billy Squier has made some phenomenal songs in his career and is finally back again, so do yourself a favor, check out his library- but I-Tunes is not the place-they have a limited suplly of his songs and albums. You’ll have to do Amazon and get either the CD’s or vinyl. If you are a true fan, check out his 1993 album “Tell The Truth.” His record company, Capitol, did not promote it, causing Squier to walk away from the music business for at least five years. His albums are now finally be reprinted.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week (Thanks Tricia you had them right!):

1.     Pat Benatar

2.     Oak Ridge Boys

3.     Diana Ross.

4.     Darlene Love

This week’s trivia (AC/DC and Billy Squier)

1.     True or False: AC/DC has released a “greatest hits” collection.

2.     What does AC/DC stand for?

3.     Who played guitar on Billy Squier’s “(Another) 1984?”

4.     Which video did Billy Squier say sank his career?

 Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Dirty Laundry”- Don Henley

2.     “Get Ready”-The Temptations

3.      “Mack the Knife”-Bobby Darin

4.     “No More Mr. Nice Guy”- Alice Cooper

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “In the city ladies look pretty.. guys tell jokes so they can seem witty…”

2.     “Little things that I should have said and done I just never took the time…”

3.     “Mash potato, do the alligator, put your hands on your hips…”

4.     “Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too.. twenty-four before my love”

Sadly back on this day in 1964, Jim Reeves (“He’ll Have to Go” and plenty of Christmas tunes including “Jingle Bells” which was featured in the movie “Elf”) died in a plance crash near Nashville, TN.

Back on this day in 1969, Elvis held his first concert in eight years at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late Ahmed Ertegun, Gary Lewis (“This Diamond Ring”) Daniel Boone (“Beautiful Sunday”-love that song) Bob Welch and Donny Osmond Jr. (1979).

December 19, 2008

Weekly Update – 12/19/2008

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 6:39 am

John Legend at the Apollo Theater on Mon. Feb. 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $52 – $72.

Adele at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. May 5, 2009. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $32.50

LL Cool J at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Feb. 19. Pre-sale tickets on now for American Express cardholders only. General public on sale Sat. Dec. 20 at noon.$39.50

Dave Matthews Band at Madison Square Garden and Izod Center on Tues. & Wed. Apr. 14 and 15. Tickets on sale on Sat. Jan. 17, 2009. More information to come.

Cold War Kids at Terminal 5 on Fri. Apr. 3, 2009. Tickets on sale today at noon. $22.

Other items:

Here is my list of the top 10 albums of 2008:

10.         Warpaint– The Black Crowes– The Robinson Brothers have the music in them and let’s be grateful that they are still sharing it with all of us. This is their best effort in years and I believe their finest work since “Amorica.” When one mixes a concoction of R&B, folk, blues and southern rock all into one, you get the Black Crowes. How can you go wrong with that? Key Tracks: Wounded Bird, There’s Gold in Them Hills, Gods Got It, Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution

9.           Learn to LiveDarius Rucker– Yes that’s right, Mr. Rucker makes the list this year and probably the only way is due to the switch he made to country music. I am not a big Hootie fan but I am a big fan of his first solo effort in the country genre. This fits him like a glove. Key Tracks: Forever Road, All I Want, History in the Making, It Won’t Be Like This for Long

8.            Forever MoreTesla– OK go ahead and say I’m putting this here because I love this band. Well you’re right but they deserve it. This album also took me a few turns but then it clicked and boom!! This band is relevant today and their sound proves it. The hardest working band rocks the house with this solid effort. Key tracks: In A Hole Again, Pvt. Ledbetter, Just In Case, All of Me

7.            It’s Time for a Love RevolutionLenny Kravitz– Mr. Kravitz is all about peace & love and his music is the way for him to express those attributes. This man can flat out rock with the best of them but in the next breath he can pour his heart & soul into a song that will move you like no one other singer can. He keeps getting better. Key Tracks: I’ll Be Waiting, Will You Marry Me, Bring It On, Love Love Love.

6.            Lay It DownAl Green– Mr. Green is back (although for many he never left). This is a super solid effort with his old sound that resonates in your system and keeps you coming back for more. This legend pulls in some of today’s artists to help him along with his stellar performance. Key Tracks: No One Like You, Take Your Time, Too Much, You’ve Got The Love I Need

5.            Attack & Release– The Black Keys– It took me some time but the more I listened the more I realized the talent these two guys have. This garage band socks a solid punch with rock, blues and R&B all rolled into your “wrap” to digest. Key Tracks: I Got Mine, Oceans & Streams, Strange Times, Things Ain’t Like They Use to Be.

4.            Weezer (Red Album)Weezer– Like fine wine, this band continues to get better with each release. This album also had me from the opening lick, “Troublemaker” which rocks the whole house and sets the tone for a ride with different turns & twists. Rivers Cuomo lets others take a shot at the song writing as well as singing and it all works. Key Tracks: The Angel and the One, Troublemaker, Dreamin’, Everybody Get Dangerous

3.            Death MagneticMetallica– This album had me at the “heart beat” on the opening track “That Was Just Your Life.” I am not picking this third just because I love Metallica- they are here because they deserve it. This album is rock solid despite all the cries for reprints and the usual complaints from the never satisfied “haters.” The true Metallica fan knows this album is the real deal and just like Stella, they have their groove back. Key Tracks: That Was Just Your Life, The End of the Line, Judas Kiss, Broken Beat & Scarred

2.            Evil UrgesMy Morning Jacket– From the opening track I knew I was hooked. As previously mentioned, this was my first journey into the music from the boys from Kentucky (this is their 5th studio album).The track “Highly Suspicious” is the lightning rod track of the album and for our family a source of good fun as we rode up to Cape Cod for our annual summer trek, this was the song that was the most entertaining. I will always remember my kids singing the chorus in the backseat and bouncing up & down to the infectious beat. Key Tracks: Librarian, Highly Suspicious, I’m Amazed, Thank You Too.

1.            The Sound of MadnessShinedown– When this album first came out I knew it was good. Then I started to listen to it more & more. I can honestly say that I do not skip over one track on the entire CD and I haven’t stopped listening to it since it came out. Each song is passionately produced. Again it amazes me that I do not see this on anyone else’s list, but you know what? Everyone else is missing the boat, these guys are top notch. Each album they have made is excellent and they continue to grow. By long miles, this album is the BEST of 2008!!! Key tracks: ALL OF THEM!!!

Ok here it is, my list of the best songs of 2008:

15.          Inside the FireDisturbed. I become disturbed when I hear this. I’m pumped.

14.          Saints of Los AngelesMotley Crue– C’mon this is their new anthem song!!

13.          DisturbiaRihanna– I know it was released in 2007 but it really took off in 2008. “Bum Bum Be’um, Bum Bum, Be’um ‘um..”

12.          Second ChanceShinedown– “My eyes are open wide” and so are mine-there had to be at least two songs in the top 15 from the best album of 2008.

11.          LibrarianMy Morning Jacket– No matter what my kids say, this song belongs on this list. It might put you to sleep but you can’t ignore the beauty to this song.

10.          There’s Gold in Them Hills– The Black Crowes– Ditto for this song, it may put some to sleep but this is my favorite Black Crowes song ever!!! I float away and that’s when you know something is good, when it takes you away.

9.          AddictedAce Young– This song has a great hook and it hooked me in. I can listen to this song over and over.

8.          If You Only KnewShinedown– Even though it hasn’t been released on the radio, this is my favorite song from their impeccable “Sound of Madness.” “It’s 4:03 and I can’t sleep without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea…”

7.          Rock N Roll TrainAC/DC– Play this loud and tell me you don’t like it? I defy you!! Rock on my friends… \m/ \m/

6.          4 Minutes Madonna with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland- Yes I love this song!! I love the beat, the hook and the chorus. Not enough time to save the world but long enough to dance all around the room!!

5.          TroublemakerWeezer– Pork & Beans seems to be on everyone else’s list but not here. This song is a blast and the video is even better!! Pure fun!!“How’s this for arts and crafts?”… “air-guitar away”

4.          Pocketful of SunshineNatasha Betingfield– This song is infectious and reminds me of the summertime. I went on a school trip with my oldest son’s class and they sang this song repeatedly on the bus ride all the way up to Boston. I love it!!!

3.          All Summer LongKid Rock– Even though this came out in 2007 (I know I’m breaking my rules) this song really took off in 2008 (like I told you it would). Kid was every where with this song and even “parents” like it (except for the “smoking funny things” and “whiskey” parts).

2.          I’m YoursJason Mraz– My wife usually doesn’t like the new stuff out there but this is probably her favorite song right now and I have to agree. This is a wonderful song that takes you “away.”

1.          If You’re Out ThereJohn Legend– There are songs that come along, once in a while, that hit you over the head and makes you realize that you are listening to something really special. The first time I heard this song I knew it was going to be one of my favorite songs of all time. This is by far the best song of 2008. Listen to words and hear his passion, this is what captured my undivided attention. “Tomorrow’s starting now.”

I know this looks out of place but my oldest son gave me a new idea for the updates going forward. He suggested naming my favorite ten songs from an artist and/or band. So this week I decided to pick Rod Stewart, don’t ask me why but for some reason he was the first to pop into my head. (I think because he has so many great songs). Well here they are, my favorite ten songs from Rod Stewart: (please note his stunt with “Faces” also counts) (by the way this was done before someone asked me to name my top 10 Christmas albums):

10. Stay with Me-friggin’ rock & roll at its best

9. (I Know) I’m Losing You-One of the first of his great “covers.”

8. Miss Judy’s Farm– The Black Crowes had to be listening to this one and decided to be rock stars.

7. Cut Across Shorty– To me his signature sound from the great “Gasoline Alley” album.

6. You Keep Me Hanging On– Ranks up there as one of the best ever musical arrangements in a song. I like this cover better than the original.

5. Hot Legs– Kick ass rock and roll song (sorry kids no other way to say it) no matter how many times you hear it; reminds me of my mother.

4. You Wear It Well– you know how they say there is “comfort” food? Well this is a “comfort” song for me.

3. Every Picture Tells A Story-Could arguably be the best song he ever recorded.

2. Born Loose-This song gets me so psyched every time I hear it. This should be on “Rock Band.”

1. I Was Only Joking– This tune cracks my top ten songs of all time. I immediately stop whatever I’m doing when I hear this song and have to sing along.

Keeping with the theme of lists going, someone asked to name the top ten Christmas albums of all-time (no compilations included) and in my opinion they are:

10.          Christmas with the Chipmunks-The Chipmunks-that’s right the Chipmunks, you know you grew up with it and now your children love it. This album is a timeless classic that brings great holiday cheer. Key tracks: The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Chipmunk song, Up on the House-Top, Deck the Halls

9.          A Charlie Brown ChristmasVince Guaraldi: This is the perfect album for a holiday gathering with family and friends. It elicits a sense of happiness. Key tracks: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Skating, Linus & Lucy, O Tannenbaum

8.          Marshmallow World & Other Holiday FavoritesRaul Malo– As I have been harping on this site for some time now, this is the best Christmas release in the last ten years. Mr. Malo is a “throw-back” to the good old days of past Christmas’ vocal styles. Key tracks: I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Marshmallow World, Silver Bells, Feliz Navidad

7.          Ella Wishes You a Swinging ChristmasElla Fitzgerald– How can this list not include one of the best female vocalists ever? Her voice sends you “away.” Key Tracks: Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland

6.          White Christmas Bing Crosby-Only the best selling single of all time in music history but the rest of this album is stellar as well. I am so glad that once a year, the younger generation is reminded or introduced to a true legend. His work is also timeless. Key Tracks: White Christmas, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Adeste Fideles

5.          Christmas with DinoDean Martin-This is “comfort” music. His effortlessness in singing just shows you how much talent he had. His voice is so distinctive and his version of Let It Snow is fantastic. Key Tracks: Let It Snow, A Marshmallow World, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Silver Bells

4.          The Christmas SongNat King Cole– This man is a national treasure. His version of the Christmas Song is probably the most recognizable song in the history of Christmas music. He has the perfect voice and it is a beautiful album. Key Tracks: The Christmas Song, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, O Holy Night

3.          Have a Holly Jolly ChristmasBurl Ives– There are a few songs that I need to hear that will automatically get in the mood with the holiday spirit and “A Holly Jolly Christmas” is one of those songs. Each holiday season, I sit in front of our Christmas tree and listen to this entire album. Key Tracks: ALL OF THEM!!!

2.          Elvis Christmas AlbumElvis Presley-I thank my father for “raising me” up with Elvis and this album is a keeper until the end of time. His version of “Silent Night” gives me the chills. Hard to believe this is not my top Christmas album but… Key Tracks: ALL OF THEM!!!

1.          A Christmas Gift for YouPhil Spector– Mr. Spector produced this album and in my opinion this is the greatest Christmas album of all-time. Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals and Bob B Soxx & the Blue Jeans offer up their best and the results are spectacular. Key Tracks: ALL OF THEM!!!.

Oh well, might as well continue with my top 10 Christmas songs of All Time and they are:

10.          Christmas IsRun DMC– I friggin’ love this song!!! It is blasting right now as I am writing.. “Give up the doe, give up the doe.” I wish I knew how to dance.

9.          I’ll Be Home for Christmas– The Beach Boys– Most go for “Little Saint Nick” but for me, this is their best Christmas tune.

8.          White Christmas-The Drifters– How cool is this version and I am immediately drawn to Macaulay Culkin lip syncing this great song in “Home Alone.” This was also a family sing-a-long song on every Christmas Eve, where my mother and aunt stole the spotlight!!

7.          Silver BellsBurl Ives– What a voice this man had and his version of Silver Bells knocks me right off my chair

6.          If Every Day was Like ChristmasElvis Presley– Talk about pure perfection, this song has it all. No one else can do this like the King himself. This is one of the most beautiful songs ever.

5.          Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!Dean Martin– Wow every time I hear this song, I just wish it would snow. If it ever snows before Christmas, or on Christmas, you know I take this song out and smile away.

4.          Happy ChristmasJohn Lennon & Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir– This is the one song I need to hear each Christmas season to get me into the holiday spirit. There have been many takes on this song but no one does this like John can. This is a “spine-tingling” classic.

3.          Blue ChristmasAnn and Nancy Wilson– Ann’s voice gives me the chills on her spectacular take on this timeless classic.I can’t get enough of this song.

2.          Sleigh RideThe Ronettes– “Ring-a-ling-ling-ding-dong-ding” ‘Nuff Said!!!

1.           Pretty PaperRoy Orbison-You can ask my wife and children how many times they have heard this song over the past 14 years (longer for my wife). Each Christmas season I have to listen to this song at least two times in a row, if not more. This song puts me in a trance and I can’t move until it’s over. To me this is the most beautiful song ever sung.

Back on this day in 1978, ABC aired the following Christmas special: “The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait.”

Back on this day in 1996, Lubbock, Texas named a street after their homegrown son, Mr. Buddy Holly.

Sadly back on this day in 2000, Pops Staple of the Staple Singers (remember my old school favorite song of the week last week- “Respect Yourself”) passed away after suffering a concussion.

If you were born today, you share a birth date with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.

Reminder: Rock Band 2 is out today for the Wii system. Good Luck trying to get one!!

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